The Road Ahead
2010 came upon me so fast that I feel like I have whiplash. I feel like I barely touched the tip of my to be read pile which grows exponentially every month as I receive more books to review and I buy even more books for my ever expanding digital library. For some reason, despite all the gloom about publishing in 2009 with its layoffs, its reduced print runs, the attempts to game ebook releases, the Twilight mania, I enter 2010 really excited about romance books and the romance genre.
The online community is burgeoning. There seem to be new voices popping up everywhere. Raven at Raven’s Reviews is a new blog focusing on African American romance. Tyrion Frost has a thoughtful blog about the fantasy subgenre. Rosario came back to reviewing regularly after taking a year or more off to do real life things like study. Keishon helped readers to tackle their book pile with her TBR challenge. I lasted three months but I hope Keishon does this again.
For all the online contretemps, I feel like the online community is really doing a great job of representing the best of the romance genre and by that I mean showing others that intelligent and articulate women read romance. Ending the year reading the diary on DailyKos about being a romance reader, unashamed, was wonderful.
The rise of digital marketplace presents an exciting opportunity for readers and authors. New devices are being released to shock and awe us. PixelQi’s innovative transreflective screen will make its appearance on several devices in 2010. I’m engaging in my own personal countdown for the iUnicorn (also known as Apple’s iSlate Tablet) even though I know that it’s too pricey at $1000 to be anything but a niche item.
The 2000s was a mixed bag of books for me. I fell into a serious reading slump in the mid 2000s, right before I started Dear Author. There was a sameness about the books I was reading. I didn’t feel like my tastes were being reflected in the market and I felt like I was seriously out of step with the majority of readers. I fell out of love with some of my favorite authors, some of whom decided romance was no longer for them and others who were trying to redefine romance genre as something unfamiliar to me.
But the later years in the decade have brought some wonderfully promising young authors to the market like Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Julie James, Courtney Milan, Victoria Dahl, to name a few. I’ve discovered how talented category authors are like Sarah Mayberry, Kathleen O’Reilly, Molly O’Keefe. I’ve been purchasing out of print books from Susan Napier and Sharon and Tom Curtis. I’ve read some really marvelous books to be published in 2010 like Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss which I think I’ve read about five times already and the beautiful love story in Pamela Clare’s March release, Naked Edge.
I don’t know of a time in the last decade that I’ve felt as hopeful and as excited about the genre and the romance community as I am now, at the beginning of 2010. I would love to hear from you what you expect to see in 2009 in terms of publishing, the romance genre, the romance community. Are you excited? Full of trepidation? Both? Neither?